Virgil Thomson (Hardcover)

Music Chronicles 1940-1954 (LOA #258): The Musical Scene / The Art of Judging Music / Music Right and Left / Music Reviewed / other writings (Library of America Virgil Thomson Edition #1)

By Virgil Thomson, Tim Page (Editor)

Library of America, 9781598533095, 1200pp.

Publication Date: October 16, 2014

List Price: 50.00*
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Revisit the Golden Age of classical music in America through the witty and adventurous reviews of our greatest critic-composer: For fourteen memorable years Virgil Thomson surveyed the worlds of opera and classical music as the chief music critic for the New York Herald Tribune. An accomplished composer who knew music from the inside, Thomson communicated its pleasures and complexities to a wide readership in a hugely entertaining, authoritative style, and his daily reviews and Sunday articles set a high-water mark in American cultural journalism. Thomson collected his newspaper columns in four volumes: The Musical Scene, The Art of Judging Music, Music Right and Left, and Music Reviewed. All are gathered here, together with a generous selection of Thomson’s uncollected writings. The result is a singular chronicle of a magical time when an unrivaled roster of great conductors (Koussevitzky, Toscanini, Beecham, Stokowski) and legendary performers (Horowitz, Rubinstein, Heifetz, Stern) presented new masters (Copland, Stravinsky, Britten, Bernstein) and re-introduced the classics to a rapt American audience.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.

About the Author

TIM PAGE won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism for his writings in the Washington Post, for which he was a music critic from 1995 to 2008. A professor of music and journalism at the University of Southern California, he is co-editor of Virgil Thomson’s Selected Letters and editor of the Library of America edition of Dawn Powell’s novels.

Praise For Virgil Thomson: Music Chronicles 1940-1954 (LOA #258): The Musical Scene / The Art of Judging Music / Music Right and Left / Music Reviewed / other writings (Library of America Virgil Thomson Edition #1)

"One of the best regular critics of any subject whatsoever who ever walked into any newspaper’s city room. . . . It is more fun reading Virgil Thomson today on subjects of scant general interest than it is to read the vast majority of designated dullards and snark-slinging trivialists currently employed. . . . Thomson, like much of Mencken, remains riotously readable.” — Jeff Simon, The Buffalo News

"The present volume is valuable, of course, as a chronicle of a particularly rich period of musical life in this country. All the big composers and performers are here at their height. It was a Golden Age. But I think the book is even more valuable as a record of one deeply musical man’s listening experiences put into beautiful prose. It is a book that can teach us all how to be better listeners.” — Timothy Mangan, Orange County Register

“Anyone with a passing interest in music and good writing needs to have this book. There’s an enormous amount to learn in these 1,000 pages—and your education will be painless, thorough and entertaining.” — Christopher Purdy, WOSU Classical Music 101

“[Thomson’s] bracing attitude about the job of the music critic has never been more urgent than it is now, an era of unprecedented choice, a chaotic cultural marketplace, and scant curatorial guidance.” — Peter Dobrin, The Philadelphia Inquirer